The most anticipated party of the year last week launched two juried books, American Illustration and Photography. This year makes #31 for illustration and the esteemed jury comprised of a gallerist, art directors, designers and a producer.

Submitting work to American Illustration is so exciting because inclusion in the award winning annual places artists’ work in the highest ranks of their profession. When advising artists on which pieces to include in their portfolios, online and in print, I often suggest they refer to American Illustration to define what universe his or her artwork lives in. In other words, identify the artists creating similar work or tackling similar themes or messages and evaluate how your work stands up to the published work. Knowing your universe is an important first step in marketing your work and submitting work into contests is one way to help define that universe.

I love working with artists on the submission process because I think the book itself is a piece of art; it has its own rhythm and combination (some say juxtaposition) of images to create a larger impact than the sum of the single images. The artist needs to be aware that American Illustration’s chairs and director endeavor to create an art book, not just an annual.

I’m proud to announce Paul Rogers, Tatsuro Kiuchi and Ping Zhu’s illustrations have been selected and chosen to be included in the 31st edition of American Illustration. Good luck to you all for 2013, deadline February 15th.

American Illustration 31 book on view here